Scripture Readings: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14; Colossians 3:12-21; Luke 2:22-40
Years ago there was a book and associated poster that shared: “All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten.”
For sure, Kindergarten and education is important for our growth as a person, but I would suggest that just maybe, everything we need to know – we should learn from our family.
When I meet with parents for baptism, we always talk about the most important role of parents in raising their child in the practice of the Faith, but also socially, physically, emotionally, educationally, and on it goes.
We learn from the most important people of our families, our parents. Not only in those 20 or so years we live with them, but for all those years we are not living with them.
A couple of weeks ago, two political pundits – brothers – were on TV, some would say discussing, others would say arguing over a certain topic. A listener called in to the show and began to say they should both behave better. To which one of the hosts said: good morning, Mother.
Just a few days ago I was speaking with someone and it was very very obvious, that they were a “committed smoker.” As we spoke, the topic of this person’s excessive smoking came up and the person shared, “Yea, my mother is always telling me to reduce or stop my smoking.” To which I shared, “Maybe you should be listening to your mother.”
Of course, I do not want to overlook Fathers, sometimes even Fathers know best.
Raising and building a family is a joint effort that takes time!
Today’s Feast of the Holy Family is not just something we honor by saying, “What a nice family: Jesus, Mary and Joseph.”
Rather today’s Feast of the Holy Family is a reminder that the Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph were like our families, they had lots of things to work out during their time together. I am sure there were a few days or nights, when Mary & Joseph wondered about their kid or Jesus wondered about his parents – who just did not seem to get it. But amid all those things, they made time for each other and for their faith.
I remember as a kid, that on weekdays we all ate at the non-European hour of 5:00 pm. That was the time my father got home from work. Dinner was not optional, it was mandatory. Dinner may not have lasted more than 30 or 45 minutes, but it was one of the times during the week that we got together. And we even went to Mass together, but did not sit in the same pew. (Since we were in Catholic School, we sat by row by row by grade and of course boys were on one side and girls on the other side of the main aisle.)
So what’s the point this Sunday? Parents, children – spend time together hopefully each day, but certainly each week. Spend time together in prayer – even if it is only at Mass on the weekend.
As Bishop Desmond Tutu said, “You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”
Today’s Feast is meant to be every family’s Feast.
Today’s Feast is about your family being and becoming a Holy Family!